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SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR

Sharpness 
 9.8
Aberrations 
 9.1
Bokeh 
 9.5
Autofocus 
 7.7
Handling 
 9.4
Value 
 9.2
Reviews Views Date of last review
106 453,215 Sat September 2, 2023
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
99% of reviewers $560.33 9.55
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR

SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
supersize
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
supersize

Description:
A weather-sealed version of the DFA 100mm f/2.8 macro lens. Maximum magnification is 1:1. The image circle of the lens covers the full 35mm film format as did its predecessor. Cosmetics have changed and build quality has been improved - the lens now has an aluminum barrel. This new lens does not have an aperture ring so it is not suitable for use on the older film cameras which do not allow for setting the aperture from the camera body, such as the LX, MX, ME, ME Super, K1000 etc.

The aperture has rounded blades which should result in a pleasing and smooth rendering of out-of-focus areas (aka bokeh).

Like all weather-sealed lenses, the D FA 100mm Macro has a rubber seal around the lens mount, which can be seen in the photo (colored red). The front element is SP (Super Protect) coated.

SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 8 blades (rounded)
Optics
9 elements, 8 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F2.8
Min. Aperture
F32
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
Yes
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
1x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 16 ° / 14 °
Full frame: 24 ° / 20 °
Hood
PH-RBE 49mm
Case
S80-120
Lens Cap
O-LC49
Coating
SMC,SP
Weather Sealing
Yes (WR)
Other Features
Metal Build
Diam x Length
65 x 80.5 mm (2.6 x 3.2 in.)
Weight
340 g (12 oz.)
w/ Hood: +38g
Production Years
2009 to 2022
Pricing
$279 USD current price
$376 USD at launch
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-D FA MACRO 1:2.8 100mm WR
Product Code
21910
Reviews
User reviews
In-depth review

Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusQuick ShiftWeather SealedAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR Buy the SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 106
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2022
Location: South Alabama
Posts: 420

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: September 2, 2023 Recommended | Price: $280.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: quick shift, sharp, well made, weather resistant, consistent
Cons: sticky aperture lever, binding focus ring
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3   

This is a wonderful lens. I bought it for the weather resistance - I got sick of putting a bag around the Tamron 90mm Macro. I live on the Gulf Coast, and we get a LOT of rain.

Cons:
None of these are deal breakers for me, and they may not be as common as they seemed to be.
  • oily aperture lever. All three (used) copies of this that I have purchased (I returned two) have had an oily aperture lever. It isn't difficult to take off the mount if you have the right screwdriver. I did have to gently heat the screws with a soldering iron to loosen them.
  • binding focus ring. Every once in a while, the focusing ring will just not want to move. A little bit of wiggling frees it up, but I saw this in two of the three copies I tried, with one consistently binding to the point where I think it may have been damaged.
  • I don't think the aberrations are particularly noticeable. I did try to find some example photos though
  • it would be nice if this was internally focused


Pros:
  • quick shift. I don't know how I lived without it on other macro lenses.
  • capable of taking some wonderful, sharp macro photos.
  • Weather resistance works well. I was out with this once and a torrential thunderstorm rolled in while I was in the middle of a parking lot a 10 minute walk from my house. I was drenched from head to toe, the lens and the K-3 were completely soaked. I dried everything thoroughly with a towel when I got home and it was fine.
  • The build quality is great. I feel very confident I won't accidentally break it, which IMO is a rarity with camera gear.
  • Autofocus is great. I do use manual focus more often for macro, but if you need to autofocus, even around 1:1, it is more than capable. Of course, being a macro lens, any focus hunting is slow and frustrating, but that is not a frequent occurrence.

All of that being said, like many Pentax lenses, it is hard to specifically say what it is about this lens that I like so much. You can tell a lot of thought was put into making it nice to use. Maybe it was made by a bunch of gnomes in a magic treehouse.

Sample photos - I tried to go with difficult lighting situations for these.


The dragonfly was silhouetted against a bright sky and flash was used to put some light on the underside. There might be some fringing or other aberrations here but they aren't noticeable. The blown highlights are operator error.


Another high contrast scene, but without flash. You can see some purple blown out bokeh towards the right hand side.


High contrast with two flashes.


OoF sticks in the background are not very attractive with this lens. This was in bright sunlight, you can see the sun reflection in the eye has turned purple.


One last one with ideal lighting. This is early morning with a decently dialed in diffuser on the flash.
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Dorset , UK
Posts: 6
Review Date: May 21, 2023 Recommended | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Bokeh, sharpness, size and handling
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Panasonic S5   

I have used about two dozen macro lenses in the 50-200mm range and this one is one of my favourites !

Positive :
I love the small size and weight
It goes to 1-1.
It is very sharp.
The wonderful smooth bokeh wide open (on my full frame camera).

Neutral :
The bokeh once stopped down is ok but nothing special.
Occasionally chromatic aberrations are visible.

Negative
My lens has had some internal oil / grease leak and is currently in service as it made the apertures stick....

And I`m using this lens with a dumb adapter and in manual focus mode (meaning I cannot judge it`s AF performance).
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2023
Posts: 4

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 8, 2023 Recommended | Price: $415.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Metal, razor sharp, WR
Cons: Maybe a little slow autofocus, but in normal situations it's ok
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-70   

After years of using 55-300mm kit lens, I found out that the most used focal lenght was the 100mm, so I said: "let's go to quality!".

Even wide open, the center is very good, but from 4 to 11 this lens performs an outstanding sharpness, even at the corners of the frame. The 1:1 macro capability is fantastic, although the focusing will protrude the lens pretty far, but if the hood is on, well problem solved, because it doesn't attach on the focusing tube, leaving it protected inside him.







   
Pentaxian

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Blunsdon,Wiltshire, UK
Posts: 1,481

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: August 12, 2022 Recommended | Price: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light and very sharp
Cons: None yet
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K3ii   

I bought this lens to go with a newly acquired AF160FC.

It's very light and very sharp.

For best results taking macro shots use manual focus.

Forget-Me-Not by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Forget-Me-Not by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Common Blue female by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Small Copper by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Gatekeeper by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Gatekeeper by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Brown Argus by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Green-veined white by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Honey Bee by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Common Blue butterfly by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Peacock butterfly by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Brimstone by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Fox by Gary Chalker, on Flickr

Fox by Gary Chalker, on Flickr
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2017
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,899

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 8, 2021 Recommended | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: In almost all situations it is a great lens
Cons: basically useless for astrophotography

This is a great lens and most people here have already stated how wonderful it is when shooting during the day or with reasonably good light. I like this lens for those situations and don't need to continue to show or state how it does in those situations as I have nothing to add. Instead I went and punished this lens


If one thinks this might be a lens worth attempting to do astrophotography with look elsewhere. This lens is actually a stinker for astro shooting. It will purple fringe like crazy until you get it stopped down to beyond f/5.6, around bright stars you get a weird ring halo until you stop it down to f/7.1 or more, and the lens has noticeable coma until you stop it down past f/5.6. Over in the astro group I posted a bunch of test shots with this lens as part of my great astro lens test thread that shows how the lens functions at various points until it gets to its best which is f/7.1 for astro shooting.

So I concur with others and this is a great lens, just don't try to do any astro shooting with it as you will be disappointed.

If you don't want to go have a look at the astro thread here are a couple of test astro shots show the mess this lens is capable of making when doing astro shooting:


   
New Member

Registered: May, 2017
Location: Kiev
Posts: 12

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: March 14, 2021 Recommended | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent macro photography. She is excellent at photographing portraits. Beautiful picture, sharp and contrasting, beautiful picture color. Lightweight lens. Small size. Affordable cost.
Cons: There is no SDM motor, focusing is done using an old-style drive with a screwdriver, which buzzes during operation.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: К1, К5   

The lens is of excellent quality for its price! The lens captures both good macro and good portraits.
I have a Fa version of this lens. And there is D-Fa. If we compare them, then the D-Fa 100mm macro surpasses the Fa 100mm macro, in almost all respects. It is lighter in weight and smaller in size. It is waterproof. Photographs a more contrasting picture with richer color. This, I think, is due to the more modern front lens coating.
And the Fa version of the lens is heavier. But also more durable. There is a lot of glass and metal. During operation, the Fa 100mm hums louder than the D-Fa 100mm.
I have both of these lenses. But if I had to choose one of them, then I would undoubtedly choose this one: D-Fa 100mm macro.
I recommend this lens for your purchase! But when I save the message, for some reason it says "no". I don't know why this is happening. There is no way I can fix this.

   
New Member

Registered: October, 2016
Posts: 4

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 20, 2020 Recommended | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: Sharp as a Razor, Great Colours, Accurate AF
Cons: AF can be slow, some CA
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-S2, K-3, K-1   

If I could only keep one lens this would be a contender......ultra sharp......compact......accurate AF.

AF can be a bit slow because of the size of the throw.

My full review with example images at https://youtu.be/y45rM87-Zt4
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2014
Location: New York
Posts: 13

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 13, 2020 Recommended | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Size/weight, WR, sharp enough, nice bokeh shapes
Cons: CA, focus is a bit noisy and can be prone to hunting
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-1   

I do like this lens and I think it'll be good for what I wanted it for - which was as a WR, much smaller/lighter-weight travel alternative to my beloved but admittedly big/hefty and not WR Tamron 70-200. But it's not perfect.

As many others have noted, the AF can hunt and it's kind of noisy. Not a deal-breaker for me, but a bit unfortunate.

The real fault of this lens IMO is the CA. The shot of the dog, below, shows how bad it can be. It was shot wide open (f/2.8), in the snow, with a dark brown dog and dark green foliage. So with all that, it was not likely to be free of CA, but it's still really bad. There is a lot of purple around the foliage behind the dog, and the dog herself has all these wacky green spots. Focus is on dog's nose - she was bouncing around a lot, so I don't know that I quite hit my focus.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/hwp5kw1wa1jv8ku/DFA100%20-%20f2.8.jpeg?dl=0

This next shot, taken at f/4, is definitely better but still shows some CA around the needles. Focus was on brown cone.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6t024ejw0z3s0v1/DFA100%20-%20f4.jpeg?dl=0

Finally, here's one taken at f/8, which is backlit and in the snow but doesn't have a CA problem. Focus was on center of golden ball. I am a little disappointed that the icicles are not sharper, given that it was shot at f/8.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tbfk5ysstm0aakb/DFA100%20-%20f8.jpeg?dl=0

I like the bokeh shapes, and it's sharp enough for me. I don't shoot much macro so cannot comment on its utility for that.
   
Senior Member

Registered: October, 2017
Location: Hannover
Posts: 163

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 22, 2020 Not Recommended | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Small, light, well built. 49 mm filters.
Cons: Terrible, and I mean terrible aberrations. Mediocre rendering outside of macro
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 3    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 7    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Kp   

Perhaps I've got a lemmon (I doubt, it works fine and is sharp) but this has been my biggest disappointment in Pentaxia galaxy.

Nice rebuild of a tired, decades old design and it shows. TERRIBLE purple fringing wide open or at f4, and even stopped down to f8 you get very obvious fringing. The last lens this bad I used was a 70's Vivitar 70-210 My poor black and white cat becomes purple and white cat. Anything chrome in a product photography gets a purple coat.
Outside of macro distance, the rendering is again very "old" : magenta cast, loss of contrast in sunny days, washed colours. Similar rendering to old nifty fifties you can have for little money.

Sharpness is good as expected from a macro but not outstanding. My Zeiss 35, 50 and Voigtlander 180 are just as sharp or sharper, and in case of the 35 and 180, from wide open.

I couldn't recommend it at any cost, specially for an apsc shooter. Want a Pentax macro? 35 macro ltd has much nicer rendering, and better aberration control.
Want a telephoto? Get the 50-135: much, much better rendering, colours, transitions, contrast and micro contrast, aberration control and is much more versatile.
   
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2018
Posts: 131
Review Date: January 9, 2020 Recommended | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great IQ, a pleasure to use
Cons: No focus limiter or aperture ring.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3ii   

Crisp images with great colours and smooth bokeh. Manual focus is silky smooth so an aperture ring would be more useful to me than a focus limiter, but the limited would be of use to people who like this as a short telephoto. So small and light I can easily pop it into a bag if I go birding or whatever. It does feel good in the hand, even the lens hood is excellent. Opened a world of macro photography to me, so it is worthy of a high score.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2007
Posts: 1,157

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 5, 2019 Recommended | Price: $399.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, nice bokeh, very good for both macro and non-macro work
Cons: focus hunts a bit
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-1 and K-3   

Why isn't this a Limited? Metal body is great, focus adjustments easy to do manually and very useful for both macro work and as a walk around short telephoto on the K-1



   
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2016
Posts: 97
Review Date: November 30, 2019 Recommended | Price: $660.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp
Cons: Purple fringing
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K3   

Extremely sharp lens with nice bokeh. There can be purple fringing around highlights especially at wider apertures.
This photo was shot at f11:


   
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Utrecht
Posts: 205

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: September 8, 2019 Recommended | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp and contrasty, WR, build quality
Cons: Bit noisy... but for macro I prefer MF anyway
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K1ii and K-01   

Beautiful lens, feels good (aluminum), clever hood, top notch IQ. Only wide open a little bit fringing around highlights. Rounded blades for nice bokeh.

AF can be hunting, so I prefer MF. Compared tot MF macro lenses this one has a bit short focus throw.

I got it as a free bonus with my K1 + 28-105. I am very happy with it. Ideal for DSLR-scanning too.

See also: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/392245-my-...dern-dfas.html

and for scanning: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/107-film-processing-scanning-darkroom/38...aw-camera.html

   
amateur dirt farmer

Registered: December, 2014
Location: probably out in a field somewhere...
Posts: 39,894

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: August 3, 2019 Recommended | Price: $375.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: clarity, bokeh, color rendition, sharpness
Cons: are there, really, any negatives here?
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3   

what a lens...

I traded my copy of the FA43 Limited for this lens - it was 'like new', in box with all papers, OEM caps and hood.... and I honestly feel that I got the better part of the deal...

the D FA 100mm f2.8 Macro WR is everything you would expect from a modern, super-corrected macro lens...

it has all the boxes ticked, such as quick-shift, weather-resistant, beautifully built, full 1:1 macro - there are very few items missing from this lens' list of specs and none of the missing bits are detrimental to it...

could it have a DC or SDM motor? yes, at the cost of its svelte exterior...

could it have an aperture ring? yes, but none of the current/modern lenses do and going forward, the idea of an aperture ring is becoming more and more rare...

could it have a focus-limiter? yes, but again, at the cost of that slick exterior barrel...

I would have been happy with all the optics packaged in a plastic, manual focus barrel, at anything nearly twice its size - it's that good...

I shot everywhere this month; the library, the zoo, downtown, in the fields - and not once did this lens let me down... you point it, it delivers...

beautiful bokeh, crisp colors, amazing details - anything you ask of it, it's good at...

downsides? yeah, it's a little long occasionally, causing me to re-compose.. and, yeah, because it's a macro lens, the focus travel is long...but that is the price you pay for that macro capability...

oh, and the shots?

paint by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

at the library by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

green boa by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

dragonfly by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

hay bales by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

shop pup by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

and the rest of the album:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pepperberryfarm/albums/72157709298772337/page1


no mystery about this lens - if you need a macro lens in the 70 - 100mm range, there's no reason to not put one of these in your bag....
   
New Member

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 5

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: July 25, 2019 Recommended | Price: $265.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, compact, color rendition
Cons: long throw and hunting focus
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3 / Z-1p   

Sample images from Fujifilm Color 200 film with Z-1p

Add Review of SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR Buy the SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR



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